Australia At Issue With Clark's Isolationism
Australia At Issue With Clark's Isolationism On Defence
The Australian Defence Minister Peter Reith taking issue with Prime Minister Helen Clark's perspective on defence confirms our concerns that New Zealand is cutting its ties with its strongest partner in the Asia-Pacific region, National's Defence spokesman Max Bradford said today. "Helen Clark has justified her intentions to reduce our defence capability by saying we live in a 'benign strategic environment'.
"Ironically Peter Reith said on television's Assignment last night that it was 'a bit optimistic to say that we live in benign times'. He should know, he is charged with resourcing the defence forces that constantly monitor and react to activity across the arc of instability above Australia.
"This simply confirms that Helen Clark and Matt Robson are on a different planet than everybody else.
"Helen Clark should wake up and realise our Asia-Pacific partners and New Zealanders are concerned this country is being isolated from the rest of the region and the detrimental affects this will have," Mr Bradford said.